Alex Rusek reflects on his past year at the helm as president of the ICBA-YLS

By Alex Rusek

   I’m deeply indebted to the dedicated board members I’ve had the honor to serve with over the past year, as president of the ICBA-YLS. As President Obama said in his farewell address, “Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.” Your dedication to your community and profession has become evident over the past year, and you have my utmost respect and sincerest appreciation. 

The ICBA-YLS was able to host  several events in 2017-2018, starting with a networking event at a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game and following it with our annual Oktoberfest where we raised funds to support the Houston Food Bank following Hurricane Harvey.

In January, we held a Post-Holiday Mixer and raised funds for Ingham and Eaton County Families Against Narcotics.

In March, we co-sponsored a fundraiser at Purre Bar Okemos with the Mid-Michigan Chapter of WLAM and raised money for the Ingham County Bar Foundation.

The YLS organized multiple outings to Haven House of East Lansing and prepared dinner for residents; held our annual Horn of Plenty Food, Clothing, and Personal Items Drive supporting Volunteers of America and Cristo Rey Community Center, and supported other volunteer opportunities.

We also hosted very successful educational events including the “I See the Appeal” and the “Arbitration Essentials: Skills for the New Advocate” practical legal education events, both featuring prominent local practitioners.

Our two most successful educational programs were “Assisting Survivors of Domestic Assault: A Primer for Attorneys” that earned an Affiliate Star Award from the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division; and the “Refresh Your Recollection Evidence” seminar, featuring presentations by Court of Appeals Judge Amy Krause and Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk on the more complex and often misunderstood rules of evidence. 

The YLS welcomed new attorneys  at multiple MSU Law and WMU-Cooley Law School bar admission ceremonies; and presented Top 5 Under 35 awards at the 9th Annual Barristers’ Night.

I’m most proud of our continued support of the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing. Our primary fundraising event was the 5th Annual Paper Chase 5K Run/Walk; and we were able to present the Club with a donation that will support 265 one-year scholarships – our largest donation to date. It was also the first year members of the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing joined us at the race as a health focused field trip.

While it is bittersweet to end my term as president, I look forward to serving as a recently elected board member of the Ingham County Bar Association and as past-president of the YLS. Thank you again to everyone who enabled the Young Lawyers Section to honor our ongoing commitment this past year and into the future: “Service to the Bar. Service to the Community.”


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